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benedict will resign in two weeks from now saying his health is the reason. >> good morning, i am kristen sze. >> pope benedict was elected in 2005 at the age of 78, the oldest pope chosen in 300 years. he plans to spend the rest of his life living in a monastery in a life of prayer. we have team coverage with abc7 news reporter filled with local reaction and our reporter is joining us live from washington, dc, with the latest. karen? >> good afternoon. the news was a surprise to the pope's closest aides but officials say they noticed he had grown weaker. the first pope to resign in 600 years but pope benedict says he made the decision freely. >> it was a stunning announcement. delivered in latin. at the end of a meeting of cardinals in rome. pope benedict xvi will step down at the end of the month for health reasons. the 85-year-old said the strength deteriorateed "to the extent i have to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry." >> he feels he carried the cross to the point he can and is calm and said now i will pass it on. >> for the 1 billion catholics around the wo
benedict left the vatican today in an emotional ceremony witnessed by tens of thousands in romes and millions an the world. the resignation became effective minutes ago at 11:00 our time. right now, pope benedict xvi is resting in the new home, a live picture where you will see the guard, the swiss guards, are no longer standing guard. their job is to protect the head of the church. a few minutes ago, the guards actually closed the doors dramatically and left their post to head back to the vatican. nick is live in rome with the latest. >> pope benedict xvi has performed the final and most memorable act, historic resignation that could transform the catholic church. he ended it humbly. after eight years, a modest simple wave and it was over. (inaudible). >> from the summer retreat, pope benedict xvi closed the door and said good by to the closist advisors and a happy wave before boarding the helicopter and then a lap in the air around the vatican and a beautiful blue sky in rome. each step recorded live by dozens of cameras, which has never been seen before in the history of the c
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